Creamy Vegetable Lasagna

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This lacto-vegetarian take on a favorite Italian pasta classic will satisfy your cravings with less guilt.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking + Baking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 9
Calories per serving: 250 calories per serving (about the size of a standard deck of cards)

INGREDIENTS
800 grams butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1 piece medium brown onion, chopped finely
2 pieces garlic cloves, crushed
1 piece medium red capsicum, chopped
2 pieces medium zucchini, halved, sliced
1 piece medium eggplant, chopped
200 grams button mushrooms, sliced thickly
400 grams can diced tomatoes with oregano and basil
80 grams baby spinach
30 grams butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 cups reduced-fat milk
1 cup reduced-fat grated mozzarella cheese
125 grams dried lasagne pasta sheets

PROCEDURE
1. Preheat oven to 180° C if fan-forced (or 160° C if using gas).
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange pumpkin in a single layer, on tray. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
3. Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, and mushroom. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes or until eggplant is just tender. Stir in canned diced tomatoes with oregano and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce from canned tomatoes has thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach. Cover. Set aside for 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour. Cook. Stir for 1 minute or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Gradually add milk, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove pan from heat. Stir in half the cheeses. Set aside.
5. Lightly grease a 7 cm-deep square baking dish. Spoon half the onion mixture into dish. Arrange half the pumpkin over onion mixture. Place half of lasagne sheets over pumpkin, breaking sheets to fit. Repeat layers. Spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and pasta is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe was originally published in the August-September 2015 issue of Breakfast Magazine.